It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to our recently updated website. The Hitotsubashi University Institute of Innovation Research was created in 1997 as the first organization in Japan to research innovation from the viewpoint of the social sciences. Since then, the expectations placed on us have grown larger with each passing year, and today we are keenly aware of the importance of our responsibilities.
Contemporary society demands innovation. Financial problems related to corporate management and industrial policy, challenges such as social issues that are rocking the foundations of people’s lives, and environmental problems that could radically affect the very continuation of the earth as we know it, are all problems that will only grow dramatically worse if we continue to do things as we have in years past. Innovation is the process of not remaining content with existing conditions, but rather assimilating new approaches, techniques and ideas to create even greater values society will find useful. Society must produce innovations not only in technologies and products, but in the social mechanisms that underpin the economy and markets as well.
One defining aspect of individuals and organizations is a dislike of change. Overcoming this characteristic enables us to begin to discover significant new value. Innovation therefore requires first and foremost “mechanisms” to create the waves of change.
At the same time, it calls for creating new value that goes beyond what we have seen in the past. A creative “venue” can play a major role in this regard. By studying the mechanisms that create such waves of change, and the best practices of such creative venues, the Hitotsubashi University Institute of Innovation Research is helping to invigorate innovation around the world.
To achieve such a major contribution we not only are conducting superior research, but also working to forge mechanisms aimed at establishing a hub of global innovation research in Japan. Above all else, our objective is to play a leading role in the creation of waves of change and creative venues within an open environment. With that goal in mind, our hope is to be able to work in collaboration with many of you who visit our website. We will be pleased if you think to access the institute’s website first whenever you have such an opportunity.
Director, Institute of Innovation Research Nobeoka, Kentaro